Today, due to the tragic death of Amanda Asay, I learned the English term, "tree well", which is (quote from wikipedia):

A tree well, also known as a spruce trap, is the space around a tree under its branches that does not get the same amount of snow as the surrounding open space. This creates a void or area of loose snow below the branches and around the trunk that is dangerous...

Since I've never in my life done anything close to skiing, snowboarding or snowmobiling, I googled what this term would be in Russian and came across the following phrases: "корневой колодец", "стволовой колодец", and "конус под елью".

None of them seems to be a convincingly common term, so the question is: What's the most common and widely accepted term for the phenomenon described in English as "tree well"?

  • Not only I do not know a translation, but also I'm entirely not familiar with the concept. Maybe the difference in weather/seasons or vegetation lead to absence of tree wells across Russia?
    – alamar
    Jan 13, 2022 at 10:09
  • Looks like it's very relevant for mountain skiing, and is a known problem. But it's not that of an issue on the plains perhaps.
    – alamar
    Jan 13, 2022 at 10:12
  • 5
    На “снежный колодец” (в кавычках) Гугл дает 1 730 обнаружений, и еще 350 на "снежные колодцы", на все остальное – единицы, так что “снежный колодец”, похоже, самый распространенный вариант.
    – Yellow Sky
    Jan 13, 2022 at 15:04

1 Answer 1


I believe most of the Russian speakers don't know the term "колодец дерева", and thus won't understand what it's about. For reliability, you need to translate in 5-15 words. Something like this (or even in more detail): "они сидели под кроной дерева, в небольшом углублении из снега".

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